Focus |

Coping with COVID

In the year plus since the first cases of COVID-19 were announced, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread globally, causing a significant halt to normal life for much of the world. Nature Immunology presents the Series “Coping with COVID,” in which commissioned articles from authors across the globe describe how COVID-19 has impacted their countries and the ensuing responses to this public health crisis. Throughout the coming year, additional content will be included in this collection. Also included will be archival primary research published by Nature Immunology on immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Editorial

World View & Comment

To cope with the new situation during the pandemic, the Turkish people have united in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 with their healthcare workers, scientists and government. We are waiting for the global pandemic to end soon.

World View | | Nature Immunology

Early preparedness, contact tracing, isolation and testing, coupled with timely border closure, physical distancing and community adherence, have been key measures in controlling COVID-19 in Vietnam.

World View | | Nature Immunology

New Zealand has avoided the major health impacts of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic due to a strict country-wide lockdown, the end-goal of which was elimination rather than mitigation and suppression. The New Zealand government’s use of scientific expertise, spanning public health, infectious diseases, genomics, modeling and immunology, has been one of the keys to the success of its SARS-CoV-2 elimination and control strategy.

Comment | | Nature Immunology

From the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and following the creation of the ‘Coronavirus Unit’, Argentinean scientists and technologists have contributed by leading basic and translational research initiatives, including developing diagnostic and serological kits, designing new therapeutic approaches, establishing epidemiological platforms, executing clinical trials and implementing social measures to protect the most vulnerable groups of the population.

Comment | | Nature Immunology

Taiwan has leveraged its experience in containing the 2003 SARS outbreak by responding to the COVID-19 crisis with rapid measures, early deployment, prudent actions and transparency. Collectively, these actions have created the ‘Taiwan model’ for combating COVID-19.

World View | | Nature Immunology

In the midst of resurging COVID-19 cases, the second NIH/FDA virtual COVID-19 and Cytokines symposium was held on 1 December 2020, focusing on longitudinal studies of COVID-19 immunity, including long-term consequences, potential associations with autoimmunity and the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Meeting Report | | Nature Immunology

From the archive

Andreakos and colleagues provide a longitudinal study comparing patients with COVID-19 to patients infected with influenza. They report a dysregulated interferon response whereby IFN-λ and type I IFN production were diminished and delayed in patients with COVID-19, exhibiting a response that is ‘untuned’ with other inflammatory cytokines.

Letter | | Nature Immunology

Sanz and colleagues examine B cell subsets in a cohort of patients with COVID-19. Severely ill patients have higher frequencies of activated extrafollicular T-bet+ B cells that form antibody-secreting cells, the majority of which express germline sequences and are reminiscent of antibody responses observed in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus during flares.

Article | | Nature Immunology

Questions have arisen as to whether patients with severe COVID-19 disease can generate a T cell response against SARS-CoV-2. Tao Dong and colleagues report that convalescent patients with COVID-19 harbor functional memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that recognize multiple epitopes that span the viral proteome. CD4+ T cells predominated the memory response in patients with severe disease, whereas higher proportions of CD8+ T cells were found in patients with mild disease.

Article | | Nature Immunology

“The role of cytokines in COVID-19” online symposium was presented on 18 June 2020 by the NIH/FDA Immunology and Cytokine Interest Groups and was purposed to discuss our rapidly changing understanding of COVID-19-related cytokine responses in different stages of infection, including the etiologies, downstream consequences and possible mitigation strategies. The recording is available at https://nci.rev.vbrick.com/sharevideo/03106730-66cc-47ba-870b-f6e6274a998a .

Meeting Report | | Nature Immunology

Accurate serology testing is urgently needed to help diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here Valkenburg and colleagues use a luciferase immunoprecipitation system to assess the antibody responses to 15 different SARS-CoV-2 antigens in patients with COVID-19 and find ORF8 and ORF3b antibodies, taken together as a cluster of points, identified 96.5% of COVID-19 samples at early and late time points of disease with 99.5% specificity

Technical Report | | Nature Immunology